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Silhouette likenesses of (left) Miss Hannah Euphemia Brooks  (1829-1915) and (right) Capt John Edward Newell Bull (1806-1901) / by Marianne Collinson Close
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Silhouette likenesses of (left) Miss Hannah Euphemia Brooks (1829-1915) and (right) Capt John Edward Newell Bull (1806-1901) / by Marianne Collinson Close
silhouettes cut from fine brown holland, pasted onto pages of a scrap album; 42.5 x 34 cm (dimension of each page), image dimension apparently life-size.
Pages numbered in ink: on top left hand corner '122' [inked no. 121 changed to 122 in pencil] and top right hand corner '121' [inked no. 122 changed to 123 in pencil]. Silhouette on left hand page identified in pencil below image: H Brooks / Mrs Kenrick. Silhouette on right hand page identified in pencil below image: Capt Bull. Listed in index as: Miss Brooks / 1850; Capt. Bull / 1853
Silhouette numbers 122 & 123 from an album created by Marianne Collinson Close (1827-1903). Close was a member of one of the most prominent families of colonial New South Wales. She was born at Morpeth in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, daughter of local landowner and magistrate Edward Charles Close and his wife Sophia Susannah Palmer. In 1854 she married her second cousin George Palmer Campbell, and from that time lived mostly at Duntroon, the Campbell family property in present-day Canberra. Marianne was educated in the drawing-room accomplishments of her class and era, learning to paint flowers, butterflies and watercolour views as well as learning embroidery, lace-work and knitting. In the 1840s she had painting and drawing lessons from Sydney’s best-known professional artist, Conrad Martens. In the 1860s she added architectural drawing to her repertoire, making sketches and plans for cottages and farm buildings on the Duntroon estate and for improvements to Duntroon house itself.
Between 1848 and 1853 Marianne made a large number of silhouette likenesses of members of her extended family – Campbells, Palmers and Closes – and of family friends, including Blomfields and Windeyers. This collection of silhouettes, bound together in a hand-made album, forms a kind of private family document of Marianne’s social network on the eve of her marriage.
The album is inscribed “Mrs Donald Campbell, London, 1928”. It remained in Campbell family ownership until sold at auction in 1996. In 2004 the album was part of a collection given to the Historic Houses Trust by the children of the late Caroline Simpson OAM (1930–2003).
Museum of Sydney ; MOS2007/10
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